Students who aren't eligible for free school transport can pay for spare seats through the Surplus Seat Travel Scheme.

Whilst we do not have a duty to provide transport for post-16 pupils, we and our transport providers do all we can each year to make these available. Surplus seats can usually be found for each pupil who needs one, although this may not be available in the first few weeks of the academic year.

We provide transport for some schools in Dorset but if your child attends one of the following schools you will need to apply through the operator:

Please note: if you are requesting a surplus seat for a CR prefixed public bus route (as highlighted below in brackets), you will need to apply to us, at Dorset Council. The Traveline website can help you if you are unsure which bus route you are applying for.
  • Allenbourn Middle School
  • Beaminster School (CR6)
  • Dorchester Middle School (CR5/CR5a, CR8 and CR9)
  • Ferndown Middle School
  • Ferndown Upper School
  • Gillingham School (CR2 and CR3)
  • Lytchett Minster School
  • Queen Elizabeth School
  • Shaftesbury School (CR2 and CR7)
  • St Michaels Middle School
  • Sturminster Newton High School (CR4)
  • The Blandford School
  • The Gryphon School
  • The Purbeck School
  • The Sir John Colfox School (CR6)
  • The Thomas Hardye School (CR5/CR5a, CR8 and CR9)
  • The Woodroffe School
  • West Moors Middle School


Surplus seats and season ticket prices are set by the operator for schools listed above.

Apply for transport through the operator

Transport operators set their own costs and have their own application process.

All other schools: how to apply

If your school is not listed above, you will need to apply to us, Dorset Council. 

Surplus seats are offered on a first come first served basis.

We recommend you make alternative travel arrangements until you receive confirmation of a surplus seat, even if you had a surplus seat in the previous academic year.

Apply for a surplus seat

You'll need to provide your contact details, details about your child and their school.

Cost and payment

A surplus seat costs £860 for the academic year 2023 to 2024.

A surplus seat costs £900 for the academic year 2024 to 2025.

You can pay in one lump sum, instalments or by direct debit. We will contact you to arrange payment once we process your application.


You can request a refund if your circumstances have changed, for example, if you've moved house.

In the event that you have purchased a surplus seat and it becomes unavailable, we will refund you in full.